Cleveland Browns starting right guard Kevin Zeitler may be sidelined or at least physically limited when his team takes on the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Andrew Gribble of the Browns’ official website reported on Wednesday that Zeitler was a non-participant in the day’s practice after “undergoing a procedure on his thumb.” The hope, though, is that Zeitler will return to full participation on either Thursday or Friday:
#Browns OL Kevin Zeitler not practicing today after undergoing a procedure on his thumb. The hope is he'll be back tomorrow or Friday.— Andrew Gribble (@Andrew_Gribble) September 13, 2017
Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan snapped this photo of Zeitler on the sideline of Wednesday’s practice sporting a cast on his right hand and forearm:
That's right guard Kevin Zeitler with a cast on his right hand/forearm pic.twitter.com/MLRTTVZdOQ— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) September 13, 2017
Zeitler had a strong showing in the Browns’ season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers despite the loss. Pro Football Focus graded Zeitler as their fifth-best guard versus the pass rush for the week and their 11th-overall guard, allowing zero sacks in his 44 pass-blocking snaps. The former Cincinnati Bengal, who came to Cleveland as a free agent in March upon signing a five-year, $60 million, has allowed only 11.5 sacks since 2012 and only one in 2016.
#Browns T Joe Thomas (86.9, 3rd) and G Kevin Zeitler (80.2, 5th) each posted top-5 Pass Block grades at their respective positions vs PIT.— PFF CLV Browns (@PFF_Cleveland) September 13, 2017
If Zeitler cannot play on Sunday, Spencer Drango would get the starting nod. Drango, drafted by the Browns in the fifth round of the 2016, started nine games as a rookie and gave up 6.5 sacks. Meanwhile, free agent and former Browns guard John Greco was spotted in Buffalo on Wednesday working out for the Bills, per SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan.
Browns head coach Hue Jackson said after Wednesday’s practice that Zeitler will be “good to go” for Sunday, which is certainly a relief when considering the Ravens’ front seven the Browns’ line will have to contend with on the road in Week 2.
Hue Jackson expects Kevin Zeitler (thumb) to be good to go for Sunday.— Andrew Gribble (@Andrew_Gribble) September 13, 2017
Even a less than 100 percent healthy Zeitler should fare better than Drango being given the start.